Is my water testing sufficient?

elisa001

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HI everybody I just started a 10 gallon betta tank, and my water test is showing 0-20 nitrates and 0 nitrites. It also shows ph, total alkalinity, and total hardness, but does not show ammonia levels.

I set up the actual planted tank with eco complete substrate that stated it would jump start the cycling process. I also added bb from the bottle. The tank itself has been set up for 2 days with like 25% water changes each day. The filter has been in it for only 1 day.

The sponge filter for this tank was left running in my 30 gal established tank for 3 days. I transferred it over to the 10 gal it still had fish poop and other things attached to it. I realize 3 days in the established tank is not enough time for the filter to get bb, but I was given the fish as a gift sooner than expected.

I added a betta and 3 neon tetras (will add more when cycled) to the tank yesterday. I also added some of the 30 gal water to the 10 gal even tho that won’t make much of a difference. Do I need to buy another test kit that shows ammonia? Why don’t I have any nitrates or nitrites in the tank? (it’s been a while since I’ve cycled anything)
 

gandalf1420

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Definitely buy a test kit that has ammonia, it's just good to have around because of how dangerous ammonia is. Also your nitrates and nitrites are so low because the tank has only been up for a few days and the large water changes aren't helping. A cycling tank should just sit undisturbed for a few weeks, being fed every so often so the bacteria don't die, until the cycle is complete, and then fish added and water changes begun. You're doing a fish-in cycle which will speed up the creation of ammonia, allowing for the growth of nitrates. It's going to be probably at least two weeks until your nitrates and nitrites register properly.
 
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elisa001

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Ok thank you, you say the water changes are not helping, so how often do u recommend doing them? I will get a water test kit that shows ammonia when I get paid again.
 

gandalf1420

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Do smaller ones, maybe once a week. Also neon tetras probably won't survive a fish-in cycle. The betta probably will but the neons won't.
 

Momgoose56

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elisa001 said:
HI everybody I just started a 10 gallon betta tank, and my water test is showing 0-20 nitrates and 0 nitrites. It also shows ph, total alkalinity, and total hardness, but does not show ammonia levels.

I set up the actual planted tank with eco complete substrate that stated it would jump start the cycling process. I also added bb from the bottle. The tank itself has been set up for 2 days with like 25% water changes each day. The filter has been in it for only 1 day.

The sponge filter for this tank was left running in my 30 gal established tank for 3 days. I transferred it over to the 10 gal it still had fish poop and other things attached to it. I realize 3 days in the established tank is not enough time for the filter to get bb, but I was given the fish as a gift sooner than expected.

I added a betta and 3 neon tetras (will add more when cycled) to the tank yesterday. I also added some of the 30 gal water to the 10 gal even tho that won’t make much of a difference. Do I need to buy another test kit that shows ammonia? Why don’t I have any nitrates or nitrites in the tank? (it’s been a while since I’ve cycled anything)
What is your pH. And yes in a 2 day old tank you are going to need to test ammonia. Are you using a dechlorinator?
 

peddidle

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gandalf1420 said:
Do smaller ones, maybe once a week. Also neon tetras probably won't survive a fish-in cycle. The betta probably will but the neons won't.
I've only done fishless cycling, but you're saying with several fish in an uncycled tank you should only do a small weekly water change? Isn't it likely that the ammonia and nitrite will get too high for even Prime to keep the fish safe?
 

jpm995

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Wow you picked the worst fish for cycling. Neons are very sinsitive to water quality, the store should have warned you. In a cycle usually water changes are done to protect the fish when the ammo or nitrite get too high [@1]. It may slow down the cycle but protects the fish.
 

peddidle

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elisa001 said:
Do I need to buy another test kit that shows ammonia? Why don’t I have any nitrates or nitrites in the tank? (it’s been a while since I’ve cycled anything)
You can buy a kit that has just ammonia testing so you don't have to repurchase all the other tests (Amazon is a good place to look for one).

You don't have any nitrites/nitrates because your tank hasn't cycled. Once the bb builds up enough to handle the ammonia, it will change it into nitrites. Once the bb for nitrites builds up enough, it will change it into nitrates.
 
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elisa001

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Momgoose56 said:
What is your pH. And yes in a 2 day old tank you are going to need to test ammonia. Are you using a dechlorinator?
My PH is between 7 and 8. I have used a dechlorinator and fish stress coat in the water changes.

jpm995 said:
Wow you picked the worst fish for cycling. Neons are very sinsitive to water quality, the store should have warned you. In a cycle usually water changes are done to protect the fish when the ammo or nitrite get too high [@1]. It may slow down the cycle but protects the fish.
Yes I realize that but as I stated before the fish were a gift. They are doing pretty well so far with no obvious signs of sickness or distress. I have been watching them closely and fed them their first meal today which they were very energetic about.
 

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elisa001 said:
Yes I realize that but as I stated before the fish were a gift. They are doing pretty well so far with no obvious signs of sickness or distress. I have been watching them closely and fed them their first meal today which they were very energetic about.
Can you go to the store and grab some prime? It will remove chlorine, chloramine and detoxifies ammonia. Then it turns the ammonia into a non-toxic form where the tank's bio-filter removes it.
 
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elisa001

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fishsavvy said:
Can you go to the store and grab some prime? It will remove chlorine, chloramine and detoxifies ammonia. Then it turns the ammonia into a non-toxic form where the tank's bio-filter removes it.
Thank you, will order online
 

fishsavvy

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elisa001 said:
Thank you, will order online
Yes, ma'am, I hope this helps and you get through this. You got this!
 

Momgoose56

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elisa001 said:
My PH is between 7 and 8. I have used a dechlorinator and fish stress coat in the water changes.
Okay, get an ammonia test and keep your ammonia + nitrites combined at <1 ppm with water changes. Treat all replacement water with Prime, and treat the entire tank volume with Prime every 48 hours (1ml treats 10 gallons). That will protect the fish until it's cycled.
Prime simply converts NH3 (toxic ammonia) to NH4 (non-toxic ammonium). Your filter does not "remove" the ammonium. It remains in the tank and is bioavailable to the nitrifying bacteria you are trying to grow.
 

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